• Jan 8, 2009
Unless you're trying to outrun a Corvette in a Fiesta, driving indoors is not typically recommended, what with the toxic fumes and all. Low-emissions vehicles may change that and the Detroit Auto Show's organizers will illustrate it by converting Cobo Center's Michigan Hall into a green test track. Sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the MEDC EcoXperience will offer show-goers the chance to drive a variety of environmentally-friendly new vehicles around a forested 1/8-mile test track.

The list of participating vehicles has yet to be confirmed, but it could include some six to twelve different (almost assuredly all American) vehicles, including the Chevy Equinox hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. Public visitors will have the chance to put-put around the track at 10 mph with a professional co-pilot in between trees and waterfalls. And just in case the low- or zero-emissions vehicles manage to spew a bit more fumes than the trees can convert, there will be air quality monitoring devices in place.

Of course, none of this would have been possible if all those automakers hadn't withdrawn from the show, allowing the Chinese companies that were previously relegated to the Michigan Hall to move upstairs, thus clearing the way for the forest track to be installed. We'll check it out for you next week when the Autoblog caravan rolls into Detroit.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      It'll be fun to play around down there :b I just hope it doesn't get so boring upstairs that downstairs becomes the highlight of the show...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe the Volt will be there?

      "NBC Reporter Test Drives Chevy Volt Prototype Mule" - http://gm-volt.com/2009/01/08/nbc-reporter-test-drives-chevy-volt-mule/

      The reported said "Impressive. Very impressive. I spent part of Wednesday afternoon tooling around GM’s tech center in a “mule” version of the Volt. When I hit the gas, the acceleration was instant. Like all electric cars, the torque and response from the car is immediate. The Volt will deliver the same performance you would get from a car with 250 horse power.

      The other thing that stands out about the Volt is how smooth and quiet it is. There is not the whirring sound that I have heard in other electric cars I have driven. It also feels effortless when you are driving it. All around, I can see why executives at GM have growing confidence the Volt will deliver everything that’s been promised."

      • 6 Years Ago
      Intresting, I wasn't sure that the basement was big enough to fit an 1/8 mile track down there, guess it is. But at least with the massive lineup to to get down there, I'll actually be able to move around in that crowd.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like they have a Detroit pot-hole in it already.
      A2Jack
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well that's cooler then looking at the Nissan line up. (yeah, I know, there's that one exception)
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Of course, none of this would have been possible if all those automakers hadn't withdrawn from the show, allowing the Chinese companies that were previously relegated to the Michigan Hall to move upstairs..."


      I wonder if this is the chance the Chinese automakers have been waiting for...and maybe they'll never look back.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "NO NO NO! You were supposed to go to Detroit and drive down EIGHT MILE, not EIGHTH MILE!"
      • 6 Years Ago
      hmmm....a local Nürburgring.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Only designed for boring cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chrysler had cars of the traditional type (running on dino fuels) scooting around the Chicago Auto Show for the past two years, with no harm thanks to a well designed hall.

      Just shows how behind the times Cobo Hall is.
        • 6 Years Ago
        For f_ _ _'s sake...... I'm really not sure how you managed to turn this article into another slam on Detroit, but I guess that's how your mind works.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I bet everyone will be downstairs waiting for this. That will mean the upstairs will be empty.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's marketing, plain and simple. I wish the automakers wouldn't put on such displays and simply let the cars' greenness speak for themselves (without the use of such greenery in a convention center).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, they tried that for a while- no-one cared.
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